I'm about to get ripped off !

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JKenney, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. JKenney

    JKenney LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Kind of a long story, so please bear with me.

    I have a 10 yr old Dixon (cheapy)residential mower that I use to mow small areas with.
    It needed new clutches (cones) in it. I called a dealer and inquired about the cost. He said they usually cost around $300 installed. After having put new deck bearings in it and all new belts a year ago, I talked myself into it. The motor runs like a champ and burns no oil, so I felt it was warranted.
    Today, I get a bill for $700 ! :confused: Itemized on the bill was the new clutch pack, new deck belt, 6 new deck bearings, new idler pulley, new voltage regulator,and a whole bunch of stuff I didn't authorize. :nono:
    Needless to say, we'll be talking next week !
    Do you think he can make me pay for anything I didn't authorize? I really don't want to get into a court battle with him.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Absolutely not. You'd better get it straightened out with him.
  3. Beau Rivage

    Beau Rivage LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    I wouldn't have even payed 300. for repairs on a 10 year old "cheapy residential" mower...what am I missing?? What did it cost new??
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Regardless of the outcome I would never, ever deal with that shop again.

    I did have a situation where something similar happened one time. I had a 14 Kawi rebuilt for a oil burning problem. They said it would be $250 or so for a new oversized piston, rings and bore with new gaskets throughout. Well I get the engine back and it was $325 since they replaced some other parts "just in case". I told them I only authorized the $250 and started to throw a little hissy fit right there in the showroom. The owner heard the ruckus and came in and told me it would only be $250. I did not go back again.
  5. JKenney

    JKenney LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Beleive me Beau Rivage, I hesitated a while about putting $300 into it, but since I don't use it regularly, I thought I could easily get another 4-6 yrs out of it since the rest was in good shape.
  6. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,925

    There should not have been anything done extra without contacting you and discussing the problems first. This is when you should have made the decision as to what you wanted to do, he had no right to spend your money without authorization from you personally. Ask him what he would think if someone spent his money without authorization, there is a lot of this kind of thing that goes on especially in vehicle shops. This is where you have to know who you are dealing with, they should never and I mean never do anything extra without consulting with you first or they should not be paid and that is the only thing that will break them from continuing this practice. Print this out and take it to him so he can read it and maybe get some understanding from actually seeing this instead of you just telling him. What people see registers in their brain a lot better than what they hear.
  7. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    One thing that you have to watch for is your relationship with your mechanic.

    By this I mean:

    Before I had an in-house mechanic and spare vehicles, i couldent afford one truck to go down for a second or there would be a crew with nothing to drive.

    When I would take it into our regular shop, they knew this and would fix the problem and at the same time if they noticed something else that was on its way out and going to cause the truck to be down, they would just fix it. Many times I had a bill for more than I expected, but this particular shop I trust that they werent screwing me. This became a mutual understanding as I was more concerned about down time than repair costs.

    I was the same way with the mower shop. If it went in there and it needed other things, it was a mutual understanding to do it and fix it.

    Now Im not saying its the right thing to do. If I were these shops, i would have still called and got authorization for the additional work, but I never complained and felt they were helping me anyway.

    Not saying this is the case with you.....But just be careful of what you say and the impression you give these guys.
  8. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    But to answer your question, hopefully you can work this out with the owner. They dont have to release the machine if its not paid in full. So you will be without the machine while this thing is in court. Then it will turn into a he said - she said thing. He may say " Well he said to see if anything else was wrong and take care of it" Then you'll say you said to call first.....It will just go back and forth and the judge will probably make a settlement somewhere in the middle.
  9. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,925

    I can see one thing that definitely shows he was squeezing a little extra money out of you. You put new belts and deck bearings in the mower about a year ago and you probably have not put a whole lot of hours on it since that work was done. The belt was probably still good but just giving him the benefit of the doubt I know the deck bearings he replaced were like new yet he still replaced them without your permission knowing there was no problems at all with them. That is assuming he knows what a bearing feels like when it is going bad. Since he did not consult with you over this work how did he know the bearings may not have been replaced within the last few months, he did not really care, that was some extra work for his mechanics since things get a little slow in the off season months. They put advertisements in news papers in this area for 10 to 15 percent off on parts and labor to generate work for the shop so they can pay their mechanics during the off months. This is just good business sense but you don't have to put parts on people's machinery that is not needed without their permission just to make your expenses that is not being trust worthy. This kind of thing goes on all the time especially with vehicle mechanics doing work for women, they don't have a clue if a part is bad or they need a particular service or not.
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    You didn't authorize the work? If not, then you don't owe that money.

    I used to work at an auto repair dealership, and by law the customer had to sign off on a detailed written description of what would be done and how much it would cost. I would assume that mower repair would be the same, at least in my state.

    You'd think a reputable shop would call to authorize additional work, especially if it was over double the original estimate.

Share This Page